News

Cash needed for access

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

St John’s Lodge of Deniliquin is asking the local community for help to make the Masonic Hall more accessible.

Its members have submitted a nomination in the Service NSW My Community Project fund to provide wheelchair access and disabled toilet facilities for the hall.

Deniliquin Lodge secretary Geoff Ford said the project, worth $32,076, is crucial to the Masonic Hall as it is considered a ‘‘major community asset’’ in times of natural disaster.

It is also increasingly used for social gatherings.

‘‘It has a commercial grade kitchen, dining and temporary shelter facilities which are available to emergency services, local government and others,’’ Mr Ford said.

‘‘In addition to shelter and catering, the hall is available for emergency administration and command and control for worthy organisations like the SES and Rural Fire Service.

‘‘Wheelchair access and ambulatory toilet facilities are seen as routine expectations in 2020, and when the hall was built 50 years ago these were not thought about as much.

‘‘In addition to emergency facilities, upgrading the hall to contemporary safety and equal access standards provides the community with another option to hold meetings and events.’’

Mr Ford added the work would be carried out by local tradespeople, overseen by hall administrators and completed within six months of project approval.

‘‘Upgrading the hall’s decades-old facilities provides our community, families and interest groups with an all-inclusive facility to hold community events.

‘‘If you sit in a wheelchair, or are temporarily confined to crutches, you’ll understand the value of friendly access and appropriate toilet facilities.

‘‘We just want to accommodate everyone and reflect the inclusive society that our community strives for.’’

Grant recipients are determined by a public vote, with input open until August 15. To vote, go to https://mycommunityproject.service.nsw.gov.au/projects.